NEW YORK, Oct. 22 President Bill Clinton made a special appearance on October 10 to open the Weight Watchers Presents Fun and Fit in the City -- at the Harlem Children's Zone in Harlem, NY. Part of the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, the free community based initiative -- which drew over 800 attendees -- was created to help combat obesity and provide practical tips for families to follow healthier lifestyles.
"We are very excited about the success of the inaugural Fun and Fit in the City," said Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival founder and director Lee Schrager. "Childhood obesity is an extremely important topic for families across America, and we are pleased to have provided the families of the Harlem Children's Zone an opportunity to learn fun and interactive tools to help lead healthier lifestyles."
The event included a health expo for parents featuring the nutrition education programs from festival beneficiaries, Share Our Strength and Food Bank For New York City as well as educational activities for children that ranged in topics from art to music and nutrition. Following President Clinton's welcome remarks, community leaders such as New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn spoke to the crowd. The event highlight was a panel discussion from leading health and fitness experts. Moderated by New York Times Well columnist Tara Parker-Pope, the panel combined Allan Houston's experience as a professional athlete and father of five with Dr. Mehmet Oz's medical advice and culinary personality Rachael Ray's knowledge of food and nutrition. Panelists addressed childhood obesity and offered practical advice for parents on how to raise a healthy eater and incorporate healthy habits into children's lives.
The event was open to invited families of the Harlem Children's Zone. As parents visited the health expo and listened to the panel, their children were invited to visit the new Good Food Garden on the school's 5th floor terrace. Created by Weight Watchers, Whole Foods, Food Network and Share Our Strength, the edible garden is a nutrition education tool that will enable kids in the community to grow their own produce and see vegetables in a new, friendlier light. This is one of two new Good Food Gardens in New York City; the other will be located at the Robert Fulton Houses, a 945-unit housing project in Chelsea.
"We believe that good health happens in the small decisions you make every day. Weight Watchers continues to promote and focus on the importance of having parents and other adults role modeling and adopting a healthy lifestyle. We also support initiatives such as the Good Food Gardens that help educate children, and we are proud to have sponsored this event," said Weight Watchers CEO David Kirchhoff.
About the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival
The 2009 Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival is produced by Karlitz & Company and Southern Wine & Spirits of New York. Southern Wine & Spirits of New York is also the exclusive provider of wine and spirits at the Festival. Hosted by and benefiting the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength®, 100% of the Festival's net proceeds go toward helping these community based organizations fight hunger.
About The Food Bank For New York City
The Food Bank For New York City recognizes 26 years as the city's major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs. Through its network of more than 1,000 food assistance programs, the Food Bank provides 300,000 free meals a day to New Yorkers in need. In addition, the Food Bank continues to mobilize its efforts to end hunger and increase access to affordable, nutritious food for low-income New Yorkers through direct services, benefits access, and nutrition education. For additional information, go to foodbanknyc.org.
About Share Our Strength
Share Our Strength® is the leading national organization working to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry. By weaving together a net of community groups, activists and food programs, Share Our Strength catches children at risk of hunger and ensures they have nutritious food where they live, learn and play. Working closely with the culinary industry, Share Our Strength creates engaging, pioneering programs like Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation®, the nation's premier culinary benefit; Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale®, a national grassroots effort; Share Our Strength's A Tasteful Pursuit®, a touring dinner series; Share Our Strength's Great American Dine Out ®, a week-long program involving thousands of restaurants nationwide; and Share Our Strength's Operation Frontline®, a cooking-based nutrition education program. Visit Strength.org.
About Weight Watchers International, Inc.
Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world's leading provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers holds over 50,000 weekly meetings where members receive group support and education about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. WeightWatchers.com provides innovative, subscription weight management products over the Internet and is the leading Internet-based weight management provider in the world. In addition, Weight Watchers offers a wide range of products, publications and programs for those interested in weight loss and weight control.
SOURCE Weight Watchers International, Inc.